Neitzel, who chairs the street and alley committee for the
city of Lincoln, had two weeks ago called for a special meeting of
that committee for Tuesday evening to discuss bid proposals for work
on Lincoln Avenue and the Oglesby bridge demolition project.
for these projects, as well as for bridge approach work on three
streets that intersect Brainard's Branch, and a bid for a sewer slip
line project for Union Street had all been received and opened over
the last few weeks.
At last week's voting meeting of the council, the bids for the
bridge approaches and slip lining were approved, and work is
expected to take place this fall.
This week Forgy explained why some of the other bids had been
tabled and why the special meeting was now taking place.
Forgy said that in the Lincoln Avenue project, more needed to be
done than the bid specifications had indicated.
The original specifications called for the reconstruction of
Lincoln Avenue from North Logan to College. When the bids were
opened, the cost of the project ranged from $300,000 to $363,000
Forgy said that section of Lincoln Avenue is currently "mounded
up" in the middle, and the curbs are not of a sufficient elevation
for the street. He said these problems needed to be remedied and
were not included in the bids.
Forgy said to do a proper job on the street, earthwork needed to
be done to level out the mound in the middle and make the road
He said there were also other deficiencies, such as not enough
slope in the sidewalk for ADA-compliant approaches, and the slope
was not long enough. He also noted that when the earthwork was done
on the road, it would mean work would also need to be done to
regrade some of the driveways along the street.
Forgy said there were enough changes involved in the
specifications that when he talked to city attorney Blinn Bates, the
attorney felt the current bids should be thrown out and new bids
taken that included all the changes Forgy wanted to see in the
Forgy said doing this would delay the entire project into the
winter, so he would suggest that the city wait to go out for bid
until early next year, with the intentions of starting the project
in the early spring of 2013.
Forgy also suggested the city might want to consider using
concrete surfacing for the project. Concrete will increase the cost
of the project by about $100,000, but it was noted that a concrete
road is a 50-year road, so in the long run the added cost will pay
for itself in money saved on future repairs and resurfacing.
He told the committee that with concrete, the work could be done
in cold weather, so if they wanted to go with that, they could move
forward now with bids.
Forgy summarized that his recommendation would be to not award
the project, take a step back and put into place a capital
improvement plan that could include going forward with this project
During discussion, Melody Anderson noted that the information
Forgy had handed to aldermen indicated approximately another $83,000
in costs without the concrete. Forgy said that was a very rough
estimate, but yes, that was the kind of increase the city could
David Wilmert questioned the estimated amount for the concrete at
$100,000: Was that too a rough figure? He also wondered if it was a
true figure for work that would be done in the winter or fall as
opposed to a different time of year.
Forgy said yes, that estimate was more solid because he had taken
the figure from standard information provided by the Illinois
Department of Transportation for the cost of concrete on Illinois
Wilmert then asked if the city could afford the extra costs.
Anderson, who chairs the finance committee, explained that these
projects would be covered by infrastructure funds, and yes, there
would be money available for the increased costs because that is
restricted cash that cannot be used in other areas.
Mayor Keith Snyder also noted the original engineer-estimated
cost of the project was $450,000. The earlier bids came in far below
that. Looking at the current bid, adding the costs of the earthwork
and the concrete, Snyder said there was not a great deal of
difference in the estimate and what the new final cost might be.
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Snyder also noted that the infrastructure fund receives
approximately $800,000 a year. There is currently about $1,000,000
in the fund, and it will grow to $1.8 million throughout this year.
Snyder commented further: "Prairie Engineers is talking about
completing for us a five-year capital improvement plan, which will
look at basically all of our streets and prioritize the ones that
need to be addressed first. I don't think we've ever had that done
Snyder also said that the Lincoln Avenue project might end up
back at the top of that list, or not.
O'Donohue then asked if this would mean that in this year no
street work would be done at all. He was told there are items that
have already been bid and the bids accepted. Those projects would
still go forward.
Changing direction, Forgy moved on to the bids for the demolition
of the Oglesby bridge. He said the conceptual design presented in
the bid specifications did not meet with IDOT standards for a
"turnaround." Specifications need to be adjusted for a cul-de-sac.
He said there would be enough new work and increased costs to
warrant going out for bid again on this project too.
Neitzel asked how the city should approach the bidders, if it is
decided to reject all the bids. Forgy said a letter should be sent
to the bidders, but it should be carefully crafted not to make a
promise for next year. He said if the city goes with a five-year
plan, the projects may or may not go forward next year.
Wilmert said he felt the committee should accept the engineer's
recommendation to reject all the bids.
O'Donohue said he felt there should also be a decision on a
five-year plan. He also wondered if there would be added costs
involved from Prairie Engineers for developing the plan.
Forgy said as interim engineers they are being paid on an hourly
basis, but there was time included in their contract for working on
a capital improvement plan, among other things.
Wilmert then wondered if he could amend his motion on rejecting
the bids to include developing of a capital plan. He was told he
could and he did so, with Jeff Hoinacki, who had offered the
original second, also offering a second to the amended motion.
Neitzel said she was in favor of a five-year plan because it
would give the city an outline of what would be done and when. She
said she preferred that over going about it "helter-skelter" as they
have in the past.
Forgy also noted there are financial benefits to this type of
plan. He said projects can be grouped together for bidding. By doing
this, a contractor will know he has several projects at one time. It
will save the contractor expense, and it could allow for some volume
discounts for the city on materials.
Another topic that arose during this time was the actual timeline
of work being done in the city. Anderson said she didn't like the
idea of waiting till fall to start projects. She wanted to see
future projects started earlier in the year and completed before
The next voting session, normally scheduled for Monday, will be
on Tuesday due to the Labor Day holiday. There will be a motion on
that agenda to reject all the bids for Lincoln Avenue and the
Oglesby bridge and instruct Forgy and Prairie Engineers to move
forward with developing a five-year infrastructure plan for the
[By NILA SMITH]
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